Tryouts

We had great participation in our latest Team and BikePacking tryouts this past weekend with 14 motivated athletes attending.  There’s always a wide range of experience and ability levels but with all coaches on deck, we managed things very well.  Friday night was our meet and greet along with PowerPoint overview of both programs.

Many athletes had never ridden a road bike so we spent a good portion of Saturday demonstrating the mechanics like braking and shifting.  After matching athletes with suitable bikes from our bike library (thanks again all donors for their continued generosity) we took them to a nearby grassy park for extensive bike handling drills.

Sunday we applied all lessons together and enjoyed a 15 mile group ride.   We communicated very well and enjoyed riding safely until our favourite climb where we took the governor off and let them hammer to the top.

Very pleased to hear that perhaps there’s about an even split in interest in the BikePacking and Team programs.

The coaching staff will be reaching out to families as early as tomorrow to go over what next steps need to be taken.  Again we want to thank all who showed up and pushed their limitations!

For existing team members, note that this weekend is the next MBAA race at Estrella Park up in Phoenix.  Team members look to take on the challenging course which draws favourable comparisons to our ‘homecourt’ trails at Starr Pass.  Ignacio will be captaining this project so please contact him for more details.

For those not traveling to race, we still are leading various rides this Saturday.  Coaches will cover the popular Cara’s ride, Old Man Shootout and the Big Boy Shootout.  Attendance has been waning Saturday a bit so we’d like to encourage everyone to try and come out.  It’s rewarding to have such a great ride over with before noon and you can spend the rest of the day with family.    Here are this week’s practices;

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904054dada72ca3fc1-jan1124

 

 

MBAA action!

Reports from the Phoenix MBAA this past weekend were very positive, with great, safe racing and encouraging signs that more races are scheduled to take place.  This comes as great news as another recent casualty of the covid crisis is the beloved 24 Hours of Old Pueblo.  Results include both Taryn and Damiano winning their respective categories while Alex placed 3rd and Liam 5th!!  Great to see Executive Director Sean Pantellere turn his Zwifting fitness into a fine 9th while his wife Jessica started her very first mountain bike race!  Big congratulations to all team El Grupo members!

The next few weeks we will sharpen our race fitness for those wishing to take on the MBAA races. Also later in March is the super fun Cactus Cup mountain bike 3 day stage race.  We hope that many of the team will be excited to challenge themselves and take the trip up to these events in the Phoenix area.  If the interest is high enough, we will mobilize the van/trailer to transport bikes and camping equipment.

Carpooling is an option but we will leave this to each respective family to consider and logistically execute.  We will also leave the registration of the athletes to the respective families for which we will reimburse with submission of confirmation email/receipt.

Here’s a look at the MBAA schedule;

https://mbaa.net/racing/

Here’s our latest practice schedule for both riders and volunteers;

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904054DADA72CA3FC1-jan1124

Hindsight is 2020

Happy New Year everyone!  Like my household, most of you are back at school so this week’s practice schedule is lighter to allow all of you to get back in the swing of scholastic endeavours.  I’m hoping this new year will bring with it new challenges and we hope that you incorporate as much practice time with your teammates as possible.

Coach Allison returns this week after the holidays and is looking forward to seeing everyone.  She’ll lead Cara’s ride this Saturday that of course is open to everyone wanting a alternative from the Shootout ride.  It could be an endurance ride, but also could be a recovery or skills day; whatever riders need most.

We also hope that new teammates will join us at Team El Grupo, as the next round of tryouts are this month from January 15-17.  We are excited to combine both BikePacking and Team programs into this session.  If you have a friend or know anyone that would be interested please encourage them to attend.   Contact me at gord@elgrupocycling.org if interested.

Afternoon practice times resume this week, starting Wednesday but the clubhouse will be open for shop hours from 4-7pm Monday and Tuesday for bike maintenance work etc.   The sign up for both riders and volunteers remain here;

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904054dada72ca3fc1-dec29

Holiday practices

I trust that everyone is enjoying the holiday season.  We will continue with morning programming this week and have some different options available so check with the signup Genius for the new schedule at the bottom of this post. Firstly, another reminder that the weather is wide varying in winter so being prepared with adequate… Read more »

Crossmas

It was fun hearing the preliminary war stories from the gravel grinder trip this weekend.  Sounds like fun and challenging times were had by all.  Thanks to the Cross, Diamente and Lewis family for all their hard work to help make it a success.  Congrats everyone.   Gravel bikes have evolved from the cyclo-cross world. … Read more »

School Holidays Approaching!

Apologies for the late Monday night post. We had a safe and successful Swap Meet on Sunday that raised the organization close to three thousand dollars.  Plans are afoot to possibly have another one in the spring if the traditional GABA event isn’t happening. El Grupo wishes the team the best of luck with your… Read more »

Practice Cancelled today

Hi Team, If you didn’t get the email yesterday, this is a heads up or reminder that due to the bad weather, and with some of you knuckling down on exams, we decided to cancel tonight’s practice. We are still on for Saturday.  We will have a group heading to mount lemmon on Saturday as… Read more »

Kit order deadline

Today is the deadline for ordering your 2021 kit so please do so tonight if you have not done so yet. The Covid-19 case numbers are rising.  This is a reminder to all riders that masks are mandatory while inside the clubhouse.  We also need masks to be accessible during our practices and that when… Read more »

Mid week resumes.

I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving week.  Although I’m sure many family plans had to be altered from more traditional celebrating and visiting, the theme remains for being thankful to all we have.  Family, friends and health certainly come to mind first but I’m also thankful to what the bicycle has brought… Read more »

Thanksgiving week

It’s Thanksgiving week and with many traveling to visit love ones, we decided on skipping practices for both this upcoming Wednesday and Thursday.   We will keep tomorrow’s Tuesday night practice and Saturday’s shootout route and Cara ride.  Note that we have a later start time this Saturday to 7:15am.   Here’s the practice schedule;  … Read more »